Carsten Nicolai alias Alva Noto (b. 1965 in Karl-Marx-Stadt, today Chemnitz) lives and works in Berlin. Inspired by scientific reference systems, Nicolai explores mathematical patterns such as grids and codes, error and random structures, as well as the phenomenon of self-organization. In doing so, he continually breaks down the boundaries between various artistic genres.
After his participation in documenta X (1997) and the 49th and 50th Venice Biennales (2001 and 2003), his works have been presented in national and international exhibitions in renowned museums and galleries. Comprehensive solo exhibitions have taken place at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt am Main (anti reflex, 2005), the Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin (syn chron, 2005), the CAC, Vilnius, Lithuania (pioneer, 2011), the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz (unitape, 2015), and most recently at the Berlinische Galerie (tele, 2018). Carsten Nicolai’s works are included in important private and public collections. He is currently represented by Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin, Pace Gallery, Ibid Gallery London/Los Angeles, and Galleria Lorcan O’Neill Roma.
Nicolai has received numerous awards and grants, among them: Giga Hertz Prize (2012, with Ryoji Ikeda); Villa Massimo, Rome (2007); Zurich Art Prize (2007); Villa Aurora, Los Angeles (2003); Prix Ars Electronica (2000 and 2001, with Marko Peljhan); Grand Prize Japan Media Arts Festival (2014).